An interesting fact that I learned today that I wanted to share with you is that apparently, during times of bereavement, taking sleeping pills can actually disturb the grieving process. However I was able to pull up some useful tips that can help knock you out in those times of mourning, or simply to help you get through them altogether.
1. Fall asleep to a guided meditation. This can help quiet your mind and calm your body so you are not as restless in your sleeping hours, decreasing the likelihood of waking up in the middle of the night.
2. Talk to others about your situation, but only to people who you are comfortable opening up to. It can be hard in the months after a heavy loss when dealing with so many people sympathizing with you even if in reality you know that they have no idea what you are going through. Try to turn their stupid comments into a personal joke for yourself, perhaps a sweet dose of black humor is what you need. Make connections with people who you do know understand what you are going through and relate to them about your problems and even laugh with them about some of the other comments that people have shared with you.
3. Avoid the use of alcohol and other forms of self-medication. These products will only bury the grief briefly, and at times may make it even worse.
4. Create a soothing environment in your bedroom, one that can ease the tension of a heavy day. Cuddle up under a cozy blanket and put on your favorite CD, remember the good times and let your mind relax.
5. Keep a journal and jot down your thoughts whenever possible, in time you will realize that your entries might bring you a feeling of new hope that you are changing as your own perspective changes. Reflect on what has happened and accept it for what it is so that you can finally move on.
6. Try to talk with a professional. Go and see a therapist and get a diagnoses on your feelings, it is an easy way to get and unbiased, educated opinion on the matter and see where you stand in the healing process, perhaps you are already farther along than you may have thought.
7. Cry, it might make you feel better after the deed is done. Or don’t, that can work too, it all depends on who you are as a person. Just because tears don’t freely stream down your face does not make you cold and stoic, it makes you different and unique and it means that you have your own way of coping with the loss.
8. Try to get a healthy dosage of sleeping into your schedule, it can help with more problems than one.
It is important for a person to sleep, especially in times of grief because it can help the brain cope with the trauma of the loss. When a loved one passes one of the first phases a person goes through is denial, in most cases people see the faces of their loved ones in the faces of others. The brain does not always want to accept the loss and so it tries to cope by projecting the person that is missing onto others. Without sleep this can be intensified to the point of hallucinations and paranoia. The loss can bring out emotions that are already painful and can be amplified without rest, leading to cases of social withdraw, restlessness, and depression. We all saw how well Bella coped with the loss of Edward in New Moon, waking up screaming nightly. This is typical for a person in the process of mourning, and when the loss is because of death, the feeling of hopelessness can be intensified to a much higher degree than when someone moves away.
Every person and every culture deals with grieving in particular ways. Some people dance around a fire and sing chants to the heavens while others might sit around there home for a period of seven days in a ritual called ‘Shiva.’ Many of these methods are beautiful and intense in their own way, but many of them WORK! Find one that is right for you and try to get a good nights sleep, perhaps your dreams will bring you a message from a loved one who is deceased. The brain needs to heal too, and a good way to start is by getting the proper amount of shuteye each night and taking each day as it comes until the anguish has passed.
For more information on how to further help yourself, visit http://www.helpguide.org/mental/grief_loss.htm.